If you are, like me, a total neophyte to the comics scene, then the Alternative Press Expo, held last weekend at the Concourse in downtown San Francisco, is a good place to start – especially if you’re accompanied by Ed Champion (and his Bat Segundo Show gear) and Other Magazine‘s Sacha Arnold. Here the top dogs are Fantagraphics, Drawn & Quarterly, Topshelf and Oni, and they got plenty of attention from most of the convention attendees (not to mention the green-shirted CW crew, seen below interviewing one guitar-playing soul.) But the really cool stuff happened on the flanking fringes of the Concourse, where people who were really happy to be there and really, really excited to be selling their comic wares met with those equally excited to be buying them. People like the fine folks of Tumuly Studios, who see a void of all-ages comics waiting to be filled, or Brian Andersen (above, interviewed by moi) whose “So Super Duper” comic features a winningly conflicted young superhero-in-training with bold bright colors. And I must echo the generally positive sentiments about the reimagined Gumby comics, which in the hands of Bob Burden, Rick Geary and Steve Oliff are so delightfully warped (Gumby has girlfriends? The astral projections of Johnny Cash?!) that I may be addicted.
Some of the other interesting exhibitors included Bob the Angry Flower:
And one of my favorites (for good, unclean, sleazy fun) Girls & Corpses: